Official sources in the Lebanese security services said that Syria’s Qalamoun area was the starting point for the terrorist operations targeting civilians in Beirut’s southern suburb and the northern Bekaa of Lebanon during the past months.
The Resistance security apparatus is chasing in Syria those involved in such operations, in coordination with the Syrian army and the concerned agencies. Following is the detailed information published for the first time about chasing and punishing them inside the opposition-led areas.
“We know your names and we will reach you. No one assumes that he will triumph if he launches a battle against us, we will defeat you and we will determine the end of each battle,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said on 16 August 2013.
It has been long time since Sayyed addressed that speech, through which Takfir groups – operating within the armed groups in Syria – continued their bloody madness, and suicide bombers drove not just a few car bombs and committed massacres against civilians from all of Lebanon areas.
The Resistance people announced commitment to their choice, and a large part of the Lebanese, Syrians and Arabs quickly increased condemnation of such crimes. But a real action did not come from a strong actor to stop this bloody madness. Yet, some even kept insisting to provide excuses and justifications, which urged Hezbollah leadership to double the efforts of addressing the case as if he has the reins of power.
Hezbollah’s decision was clear from the first day. Prosecution and accountability are the state’s responsibility in Lebanon where the security apparatus of Resistance should provide all of its data to help investigations. But inside the Syrian territory, the decision to access their (terrorists) strongholds, verify their work structure, their roles, their acting officials, the participants in planning and implementation and to arrest them or to kill them is in collaboration with the Syrian army and the Syrian security services.
Following the confirmed information about booby-trapping and planning centers in Qalamoun, we’ve got information about the movement of operators and perpetrators in several areas, starting from Nabek, Deir Attiya and Yabroud, right down to Fleita and its neighboring villages, up till to Rankous and Arsal.
The largest intelligence operation was launched then, which required the development of tireless monitoring, tracking and following-up units to achieve the goal. The more villages were taken by Hezbollah and the Syrian army, the more information was flowing. Also, the arrested militants helped to provide parts of the real image, as is the case in Lebanon.
The plan was divided into two parts:
The first step was to disrupt the practical preparations, all the way to thwart moving of car bombs into Lebanon. This required tremendous efforts which succeeded in achieving many of the goals that are still classified.
The second step was to reach actors and groups involved in the attacks, starting from the decision-making process, moving cars, making explosives, booby-trapping and transporting, all the way to hunting down the suicide bombers.
Following the fall of Yabroud in a very complicated security and military operation, amid huge collapses within the ranks of militants and their leaders, the security apparatus of Resistance sought – in cooperation with the Syrian security and military authorities – to limit the movement of its figures committed to the file.
Documented information revealed that there exist additional warehouses outside Yabroud where more car bombs were planned to be sent to Lebanon, especially after the leaders of this group took decision to hasten the suicide attacks in Lebanon immediately after the fall of Yabroud in retaliation, to declare that Yabroud victory will not stop this kind of actions.
The rush of the (armed) group to carry out terrorist attacks led to a series of errors due to the closed crossings and weak mechanisms of coordination, such as what happened in Hermel when two cars were sent, the first was disrupted near a school in the Fakeha town, and the second managed to reach the main road, although the wheels were perforated.
When the suicide bomber tried to reach help for the wheel problem, he saw Khalil Al-Khalil who gave him an address he was asking for. Khalil chased the bomber after the latter spoke to Abdul-Rahman Al-Qadi. The two men chased the bomber and hindered his way, so he blew himself up and killed them both, saving the area from huge massacre. The second bomber, however, managed to leave the car and to flee before being discovered by Army Intelligence and being exploded in the next day.
Hawsh Al-Arab Warehouse
In the meantime, security units in the resistance were tracking fugitives from Yabroud, and succeeded in forming a mechanism of communication and coordination between these groups, which enabled the units to determine the point of meeting and cooperation. Information revealed the point was located in an area known as Hawsh al-Arab, between Rankous, Maloula and Assal al-Wared, where militants had seized a two-story villa located within a farm with several other buildings in a barren area surrounded by a large fence, and close to armed groups in neighboring houses.
Surveillance operations were given the green light. Special units headed to the place, examined all its sides, and spent several nights in checking the information about the people’s movement in the region and its geographical nature and the size of its homes. The surveillance units prepared detailed maps attached with video footages that helped to discuss the next step. Discussions revealed that it may be difficult to arrest or kidnap the armed groups due to many considerations.
Deciding to eliminate the (armed) groups, many givens were reviewed, including the fact that the target point is away more than ten kilometers from the last point where the Syrian army and Hezbollah units were deployed. The area is also crowded with corridors and roads used by armed groups to move inside the area. The number of militants increased after their escape from Yabroud. There was also a need to provide a large support force in case engagement was declared.
Accordingly, it was decided to blow the villa and to kill the militants.
After several days of serious monitoring from very close distances, the resistance security apparatus accessed a detailed map of the target building and the roads leading to it. Also, the main entrances were identified in order to advance towards the building, as well as the methods of withdrawal, in addition to the firearms coverage plan in case of any mistake or exposure.
During the last surveillance operation, the identity of armed militants who used to enter to the villa at day and to leave it at night were confirmed. The villa was also equipped with a depot where cars planned for being exploded were found, and rooms where the explosive materials were prepared.
Last Friday, the decision was made to carry out the operation in a way that wouldn’t make a noise or arise suspicion but would allow the full destruction. The appropriate kind of explosives was carefully selected, as well as the number of group members who were supposed to advance.
After Saturday’s sunset, the special unit moved on, including advancing surveillance elements, communication elements that would keep up with what to happen minute by minute, engineering group that was carrying improvised explosive devices, as well as coverage groups that would secure the entry and exit process.
During the progress, a group of militants who were conducting ongoing switching operations in the region just happened to have passed. At moments, it seemed the confrontation was potential and the plan might be changed. But the gunmen moved away after they realized that there were no foreigners.
Trapping and Bombing
The unit approached the fence to the right and managed to cross the garden fence within a minute, where it began planting explosives in the courtyard, around the walls corners, near the main entrance and at the rear doors. The special force completed the installation process of explosives outside the villa within the required time limit. Note that the protection unit was seriously vigilant, after it became clear that another group of armed men are living in a nearby house less than 40 meters away.
After camouflaging the IEDs and verifying the technical items, the attacking unit withdrew hundreds of meters back. While the other unit remained very close to the target point, and had to ensure the presence of all terrorists in the villa, and the absence of civilians.
In the morning, according to the information, terrorists started to enter into the villa, and their arrival was verified by the nearby unit, one by one. After making sure that everyone was in, the concerned elements asked the nearby unit to move backward a little to the determined line of withdrawal. Then, another unit carried out the bombing from not a remote distance.
The explosion was very huge, due to the presence of a large amount of explosive materials inside the villa. The explosion demolished the villa fully, and the gunmen’s bodies remained under the rubble.
Soon a few minutes later, withdrawal process began which required another tactic for occurring in the day time, taking into account that the blast would require the arrival of large groups of insurgents in the region. However, the Resistance had provided at the time a firearm security in preparation for any emergency, and other roads had been selected for withdrawal rather than those used during the incursion. Armored units and Syrian air force were also in a state of readiness to intervene when needed.
Source: Al-Manar Website